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Windows 7: Are Junction Points & SymLinks mirrored on cloned drive?

13 Jan 2017   #1
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Are Junction Points & SymLinks mirrored on cloned drive?

I have Win7 x64 Home Premium installed on a (nominal) 64GB SSD that actually is reported to have only 59.3 GB of total usable space on it. When I first installed Windows on this SSD, it only took up around 40GB total, which was great. I should've known it was too good to be true for long.

Knowing that many programs have "dumb installers" that can't be dissuaded from installing everything to C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files(x86), I moved my Virtual Memory from C: to a 2TB HDD and I spent a few hours using Junction Link Magic to offload as much user data as I could from folders like Documents, Pictures, Games, Videos, all with the absurd "My" prepended to their names. This has worked well and I haven't had any computer issues until lately.

Now, I only have 3.5GB free space on the drive and running Disk Cleaner can't get me any more. I have no idea what is causing this bloat or how to get rid of it, and Windows Update is now getting flaky, frequently hanging at "Checking for Updates" or simply failing to install updates due to the lack of free space on my system drive. I know this because when WU first failed I found that I only had 3MB free space on the system drive, so I ran Disk Cleaner and got to 3.8GB, after which WU worked fine... except that little by little, my 3.8GB had fallen to 3.7, then 3.6 and now 3.5 so the handwriting is on the wall.

I have a 256GB SSD that I would like to use as my system drive, and I have read several of the articles here on cloning the System drive to an SSD, but those articles all discuss cloning the system HDD (not SSD) to an SSD, or cloning a large System SSD to a smaller SSD, neither one of which quite matches what I'm trying to do.

I think I can follow the Cloning instructions for HDD to SSD System Drive cloning except for one issue: SymLinks and Junction Points. I have a lot of them (maybe 25 or 30 because Windows wouldn't let me use a JP to offload the entire Users folder so I had to go inside it and offload the subfolders intead, thereby forcing 10 JPs where one should've been sufficient) on my current C: drive, and there is no mention in the articles here about whether or not cloning my System SSD to another SSD using an Image or via Paragon will transfer the SymLinks and Junction Points as well as the files, folders and boot sector.

Also, I have a small "System Reserved" partition "somewhere" but I have no idea which physical drive it's on, or whether or not I should clone that as well, and if so, to what? I have a total of 2 SSDs and 2 HDDs in my machine, plus a (normally not connected) 1TB External HDD for backups.

The bottom line is I am looking for a "turnkey" solution (Paragon or similar) that will let me clone my System SSD with a mouseclick and a sandwich to another SSD, externally connected via USB- SymLinks, Junction Points, boot sectors and all, shut the system down, replace the existing (too-small) SSD with the new one, boot to ROM-BIOS (UEFI) and make sure it "knows" what the correct boot drive is, then boot into Windows and have a nice day.

Is that possible? Thanks in advance for any help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2017   #2

Windows 7 HP 64

Use Macrium to clone your 60G SSD to the bigger one. Macrium Reflect Free

I have a 120G SSD with Win7 (80G) and Lubuntu (40G) and there is still a lot of space. The trick is to move \Users to the HDD.

\Users\<name>\AppData has a lot of temp files that takes a lot of space. Read Kari tutorial User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation

See what you have on %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2017   #3
Hoggy Dog

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

OK, thanks for your response, even though it doesn't answer any of my questions:

1. Will my Junction Points and SymLinks be cloned to the new drive using Macrium? If not then that's not a solution I would want to use.
2. I already mentioned that Windows wouldn't let me move Users when I installed it (well, technically, right after I installed it), and the tutorial you linked me to says that it's only for when I'm installing Windows, but I'll check it out and see if it yields any useful info, thanks.
3. The User\[UserName]\Appdata subfolders for each of my user accounts are already Junction-Pointed from my SSD to my HDD. The need to use so many Junction points was driven by the need to move user subfolders while prevented from doing it the easy way, i.e. moving the Users folder entirely with a single JP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jan 2017   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Like cloning a sheep, cloning a HD gives one an exact copy onto the target HD. The only exception might be if the source HD has read/write problems. I know that MR can make full images of the OS partition "on the fly" -- I'm not sure if any program can make a clone "on the fly" - others here can update me. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2017   #5

Windows 7 HP 64

- When you clone a drive (and replace the old one), the new drive works as the old one. Every link (junction Points and SymLinks) be cloned to the new drive.
- To move C:\users after installation, follow Kari tutorial from 1.2 User Profiles - Relocate to another Partition or Disk . It's for Win8 but also apply to win 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2017   #6

Windows 7 HP 64

My suggestion is to do a clean install and move \users to the HDD.

Attached is the needed files. You may need to modify to your needs.

To move after installation, use Kari tutorial and audit.cmd to enter Sysprep
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2017   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

I use Macrium Reflect to do clones.
To the best of my knowledge a Clone is as the name implies.

It's simple to test.
Clone your drive with " with Windows 7" installed and then try to boot from the Cloned drive. Test it out. Kick the tires and play the radio. :)

This is what I do after doing a Clone to make sure it works as it should.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2017   #8
Wandering one

Win7 sp1 Pro 64bit / XP sp2 Pro (games only)

I have done this with Macrium image, not clone. Will put everything to a new drive in a partition that matches the original. Then just expand the partition to what you need. I did disk-part clean first and set the disk as SSD. Worked perfectly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2017   #9

Windows 7 HP 64

Please mark this treat as solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Are Junction Points & SymLinks mirrored on cloned drive?

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